01-Jun-2008 -- My wife and I were at Longreach and to get this confluence on our way back to Brisbane, it called for a loop up to Aramac, then east along a dirt road for 95Km to the confluence (in a paddock about 3Km from the road) then return south along another dirt road for 72Km to Jericho.
We could have gone to Aramac on the bitumen via Barcaldine, but I wanted to test the dirt before we embarked on 167Km of dirt road to get the confluence. So after leaving Longreach we turned NE at Ilfracombe to head for Aramac up a 95Km dirt road. This is where our trouble began.
After 18Km of single lane bitumen we hit the dirt, however we were in a Kluger- All Wheel Drive car.
Having got so far we persisted with the wettish dirt road for a few kilometres. When I say dirt, it was really mud, well really clay, as I found out. The scenery began to look more like the Nullarbor with nothing in sight except a few cattle, occasional sheep and plenty of roos. The mud was flying but we followed two fresh dual truck tyre grooves which limited our sliding around.
The car was slowing down more often from 60-70kph as if the brakes were coming on, but I put it down to softer mud or the Electronic Stability Control. After 55Km we came across a parked truck. It had stopped just before a grid and it turned our to be a lone drover with a mob of cattle. I asked him if he thought the road ahead to Aramac was likely to be any better but he said I was not going to make it there and pointed at my front plastic wrap-around bumper bar swinging in the breeze.
I eventually re-attached it with the help of a couple of octopus straps. The drover by then was pre-occupied trying to cut out his cattle from a local mob with his horse. I could only admire this guy who travels for weeks or months in his truck with a couple of horses and cattle dogs driving a mob of cattle across desolate country alone in the mud and rain.
We only got 30 metres past his truck before the car came to a stop. The front wheels were turning but the back ones were not. I decided to retreat back the 55Km to the main road but first had to back up through the grid gate and squeeze past his truck before I could attempt to turn around.
We had driven back only 500m before the car again came to a complete stop again. I got out into the mud and took an hour clearing each wheel arch which was completely choked full with pure, slimy clay. The car took off again- much to our relief.
By repeating this exercise twice more and after 4 hours, we managed to get back to the beginning of the road, only to be confronted with the back of a "ROAD CLOSED" sign almost blocking the road. I just managed to squeeze past without getting bogged again.
So we didn't even get within 100Km of the confluence. The quote for the damage to the car was $1,300 and my wife is now looking for a good divorce lawyer.
Coordinator's Note: 2008-09-06 - Gordon - set back to submitting and emailed visitor asking them to upload some pictures.